In an effort to make the country ‘smoke-free’ by 2025, the New Zealand government has enforced the world’s first legislation that will suspend the upcoming generation from buying tobacco or cigarettes.
According to the legislation passed by the government, anyone born on or after Jan 1, 2009, is prohibited from the legal purchase of tobacco.
According to the report by The Guardian, the new law is accompanied by a 90% reduction of tobacco companies, from 6000 to just 600 stores, making tobacco less accessible and affordable. In addition, the law also enables the legal decline in the nicotine in tobacco and impels sales only through speciality tobacco stores.
Associate health minister Ayesha Verrall said at the law’s passing on Tuesday: “Thousands of people will live longer, healthier lives and the health system will be $5bn better off from not needing to treat the illnesses caused by smoking, such as numerous types of cancer, heart attacks, strokes, amputations.”
While introducing the law for its first reading in July, Verrall said: “For decades we have permitted tobacco companies to maintain their market share by making their deadly product more and more addictive. It is disgusting and it is bizarre. We have more regulations in this country on the safety of the sale of a sandwich than on a cigarette.”
The report added that the number of vape users has increased from 6.2% to 8.3%. On the other hand, the number of people smoking daily had fallen to 8% – down from 9.4% last year.
Source: The Guardian
Article by Anushka Juliet